Phyllomedusa Released 6 Albums over the Weekend
You’re going to be hopping mad over these amphibious new albums.
Phyllomedusa is currently one of the most intriguing gimmick-bands in the heavy music world (I won’t say metal here because not everything croaked out by this project can be considered metal). Helmed by a lone biologist/amphibian aficionado/freak under the moniker Big Frog, Phyllomedusa is an experiment in sonic extremity, gurgling forth a steady stream of slimy sounds ranging from gorenoise to ambient incantations. What initially drew me to Phyllomedusa, though, was a No Clean Singing post about the impossibly guttural slams on Puddle Dependency. Since reading that post last year, I’ve been following Big Frog’s prolific activity, occasionally downloading something when an interesting lily pad would surface from the muck. Since its inception in 2007, Phyllomedusa has spawned at least 137 little malicious tadpoles on his Bandcamp page. If that fact alone isn’t enough to warrant your intrigue, you should be aware that at least a number of those splits, EPs, and full-lengths are genuinely good or at least absurdly heavy.
So, it was with some interest that on Sunday, September 13, I received SIX emails from Bandcamp about new Phyllomedusa releases. Do they all rule? Follow along below with me to find out!
Lewaf (September 13, 2015)
This one is just three tracks of harsh noise. I feel like I’m being violently drowned in a swamp deep in the Everglades. Sorry, Ed, I can’t hang with this.
The Battle of Everless (September 13, 2015)
More harsh noise. This one gives me the distinct feeling that there are eyes everywhere. An uncomfortable experience all around.
The Vecsh (September 13, 2015)
This is nearly an hour of harsh noise. There is nothing natural about this, and it’s about as pleasant as being choked by creeper vines while submerged in a noxious bog at a depth so deep that no light can penetrate the black void. Paranoia growing.
The Gurrem Gthoe (September 13, 2015)
Finally, some solid footing in this marsh. The Gurrem Gthoe is the first of these six releases to have any sort of metallic trappings, and for this, I am eternally grateful. The first ten minutes or so of this one long song consist of one calm, perhaps even meditative, ambient drone. Things quickly become sinister though as the song abruptly transitions into a sludgy recursive mess of malevolent croaks and malignant noise. This track reminds me of the Mass and Volume release from Pig Destroyer if Pig Destroyer had licked a Bufo alvarius and written a psychoactive chant of hatred while sitting on a raft in the middle of a fetid, stagnant lake. This is menacing and vile and evil, but at least it can be considered music. Oddly, I can’t shake the feeling of webbed feet drawing nearer.
The Phortect/Blood Leaves (June 3, 2013)
Despite the date listed on the Bandcamp page, the email I received definitely said that this album (another single long song) was just released, so I don’t know. Perhaps some devilish amphibian sorcery is afoot. The music here definitely feels like that. If you were to take the most fuzzed out moments of Wold or Sleep and coat them with the thickest, most putrid pond scum you could find, you’d get closer to approximating the sound on The Phortect/Blood Leaves. This is droning noise with black metal-esque shrieks that was obviously made by someone with a deep, heartfelt hatred of humanity. My skin feels clammy, almost sticky, after subjecting myself to this. I think there’s something caught in my throat.
The Gurrem (July 11th, 2013)
Let me die here, lulled into the gentle caress of decay by the sweet, sylvan songs of the animal kingdom. I have succumbed to the call of the swamp. My body joins the dead things floating in the water, baptized in filth. My skin turns to algae as the slow and precise slams of the vengeful amphibians tear me limb from limb with methodical drum strikes. My thoughts become the omnipresent bellow and drone of the Ranidae. My blood becomes the stagnant water. The cycle is complete. All is green.